I have four books I love to share with different grades at Easter.
With the older students a very special book to read aloud is The talking Eggs by Robert D San Souci. While I am sure my Southern American accent is quite hopeless it feels impossible to read this Cinderella style folktale without an attempt sounding like someone from the south. Click on this link to hear a better reading. Rose and Blanche are sisters - one is good and sweet and kind the other is mean and lazy and cruel. Blanche helps an old lady and in return for her patience and care she is rewarded with riches, but when Rose tries to obtain some of these riches for herself all the nasty aspects of her personality mean she receives hideous frightening and poisonous animals. The illustrations are beautiful and the message of this book is timeless and important.
For my youngest students my Easter pick is Max's chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells. There is so much going on in this story in the text and especially in the illustrations. Ruby sets a challenge for Max to find the most hidden Easter eggs to obtain the prize of a large chocolate chicken. Max does not find any eggs but he loves that chicken so much he runs off with it, hides and then one nibble at a time he eats it!
My third pick for Easter is Hopper's Easter Surprise by Kathrin Siegenthaler illustrated by Marcus Pfister. This is a story about dreams and perseverance as Hopper, a hare, hears about the marvelous Easter bunny and along with a new friend he tries to emulate his new hero. When reading this book we talked about the differences between hares and rabbits and about camouflage used by arctic hares along with ideas for decorating eggs ourselves.
My final pick is Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco which is another timeless folktale with a powerful message about kindness and the magic of life. Babushka makes exquisite painted eggs all through the harsh Russian winter to sell at the Easter market. One day a goose is shot near her home. She nurses it back to health but in a terrible accident all her precious eggs are smashed. Babushka then discovers a wonderful treasure in Rechenka's basket each morning for the next twelve days. I read this book to over 100 children and all were totally still and silent as the magic of this story entranced them.